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Coming Months Will be Decisive for Abortion in EU. European Court of Human Rights Facing Several Decisive Cases

STRASBOURG, France, APRIL 5, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The European Court of Human Rights currently has before it an unprecedented number of cases relating to abortion.

The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) published a press release on this situation saying that because the principles established by the Court in its case law are binding on the 47 member states, the next few months will be decisive for the respect of human life and dignity.

Among the pending cases one relates to a Polish mother who complained of difficulties in obtaining permission for her minor daughter to have an abortion. Another case is of a woman who died during pregnancy, allegedly due to a conscientious objection exercised by doctors.

A further case is that of a woman who became sterile following an abortion and she has complained of not having been properly informed of the risks. Two other cases before the court involve women who gave birth to children with disabilities who complain of not being able to have abortions. Finally the court also has before it a case involving a ban by

the Italian legislature of pre-implantation diagnosis.

The ECLJ submitted its written observations on April 2 in the case of Anita KRŪZMANE against Latvia (n° 33011/08). In this case a mother complains of not having been able to abort her daughter with Down syndrome.

She alleges that her doctor had breached an obligation to prescribe a screening test for Down syndrome.

“Pretending the existence of a direct causal link between the absence of testing and the birth of her daughter with Down’s syndrome, the applicant claims to have suffered a violation of her right to respect for private life, a private life which includes - according to the applicant - the right to decide to have an abortion. In summary, it is a question of whether or not eugenics has become a human right,” the ECLJ observed.

“Eugenics, like abortion, is in danger of becoming a social normality; those who still see the inhumanity of these practices are becoming increasingly rare,” the press release noted.

“In its observations, the ECLJ has shown that the international law and the European Convention protecting prenatal human life do not create a right to abortion, but, instead the State has the positive obligation to protect life, including prenatal life,” the press release continued.